Bill Haslam Says Republicans Under Donald Trump Too Extreme


Former Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, according to an article The Atlantic published this week, “is trying to figure out how religious Republicans got so extreme.”

Haslam granted an interview to Atlantic writer Emma Green. Green said “Haslam is disturbed by some aspects of the national Republican Party’s recent direction—particularly the way politicians and activists have frequently used religion as a cudgel.”

“In his new book, Faithful Presence, he [Haslam] laments what he describes as a tendency among Christians to conflate politics with faith. He is one of many religious conservatives who feel unsure how to describe themselves these days. While he firmly holds evangelical theological beliefs, he told me, he doesn’t feel like he fits the political image of evangelicalism at all,” Green wrote.

“Haslam is willing to challenge his fellow Christians to be more Christ-like in the way they do politics, encouraging them to turn off FOX News and be more charitable toward their political opponents, but he’s squishy about naming and blaming fellow Christian political leaders for the example they’ve set.”

Haslam reportedly told Green that what he described as “Trumpism” has damaged the church. He also reportedly told The Atlantic that the church identifying with Trump has scared younger people off from attending services.

Haslam currently serves on The National Council on Election Integrity, alongside, among others, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former DNC Chair Donna Brazil, and former RNC Chair Michael Steele. The council has 35 additional members, all of whom are listed on the council’s website.

Time Magazine earlier this year referred to The National Council on Election Integrity as part of “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies.” The magazine said these groups were “working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information” during the 2020 presidential election.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]








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19 Thoughts to “Bill Haslam Says Republicans Under Donald Trump Too Extreme”

  1. Mark Knofler

    Thanks for the higher gas tax, Clown! BTW, where is that money going, our roads still stink.

    Billy, don’t go away mad, just go away.

    Republicans are tired of the weak Rino class that insist we go along and get along with America hating Marxists. #VotetheBumsOut!

  2. Tim Price

    Just shut your Pie Hold Billy Boy!

  3. Mike

    No doubt Haslam’s idea of being charitable to his opponents is best illustrated by his family’s business of stealing tens of millions of dollars from trucking companies in over priced diesel fuel. Pilot Flying J plead guilty and paid a $90 million fine.

  4. William Delzell

    If Haslam was so concerned about the right-wing extremists that took over the U.S. Republican Party during his years in office, why the Hell did he FAIL to stand up to these ultra-conservative Republicans when he had the chance? He just stood idly by as extremist Republicans in the Legislature attacked gays, lesbians, Occupy Wall St. protesters, peace groups. He’s just as bad as these other Republicans. By doing nothing, he became their accessory to bigotry.

    As Edmund Burke, a prominent 18th century conservative once said in paraphrase: “Bad things happen when good people [Haslam?] do nothing.” Sham on you, Haslam, for doing nothing when you still had the chance! Now, how do you think History will remember you?

    1. Bill

      Hey William, I believe you’re confused about which web site you’re on. This is the tennessee star, not the atheist are us website. Sham on you!

      1. William Delzell

        If Haslam was really UPSET about extreme conservatives, then why didn’t he speak out and take action against him during his eight years in the Governor’s mansion? He had his chance then to repudiate the far right in the Republican Party but he failed to do it. Was he too scared of the Stacey Campfields, the Marsha Blackburns, etc.? Haslam needs to PROVE to me that he opposes the hard right. He has failed to so thus far. And, incidently, that word is “shame”, not “sham”. Check your dictionary, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous!

        1. Bill

          Check your first post Einstein. Where do you think I came up with sham?

  5. betty

    sounds like Haslam agrees with Rev. Barber who denigrates patriotic conservative Christians. We shouldn’t forget either that Haslam was soft on illegal immigration and was on the side of Corker and Lamar who wanted to give a big amnesty in 2013.

  6. 83ragtop50

    Haslam is a leftwing hack who should never have been elected governor.

    1. William Delzell

      Haslam a leftist? Don’t make me laugh. That jelly-fish, despite all his wealth, never really actively fought against the Right. He was Yellow. He had his chance to stand up for the poor, for non-whites, for gays, for lesbians, and other have-nots and he refused to rise to the occasion. Even his wealth did not enable him to take a real stand against the extreme right.

  7. JRin

    Has Haslam SEEN what’s happened to the Democrat Party? He has the nerve to call the Republican Party extreme?!?

    1. William Delzell

      The Democrats are simply returning to true Democratic principles of looking after the little people like myself against the powerful entrenched interests of the Pentagon, Wall Street, the C.I.A., big oil, unaccountable law enforcement, etc. If that is what you call extreme, JRin, then I am an extreme leftist and proud of it!

  8. Kevin

    “…is trying to figure out how religious Republicans got so extreme.” It’s a good question Bill! The answer is probably not too different from why politicians like you put their crony buddies, foreign Communist representatives and illegal aliens ahead of us citizens!

  9. AWM

    The National Council on Election Integrity includes Albright, Brazil & Steele all of which have questionable integrity. And these are the people that are going to determine the viability of an election. HaHaHaHa. What a joke!

  10. Ron W

    “Haslam is willing to challenge his fellow Christians to be more Christ-like in the way they do politics, encouraging them to turn off FOX News and be more charitable toward their political opponents…”

    Bill, you mean be more charitable like not saying they’re “too extreme”?

    Bill, should people also turn off CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and NBC?

    And “don’t conflate faith with politics?” So if someone believes that an unborn child is a human person, then it’s too extreme to advocate that our laws protect that child’s right to life just like we protect your right to life? Is that an example of being too?

    And he’s in a group working with Donna Brazil? Isn’t she the one who when working with CNN, gave Hillary Clinton the debate questions in advance? Not extreme, Bill?

    Bill Haslam didn’t give one example of “too extreme”. And extreme is a relative term. Liberty is the opposite extreme of tyranny. Which extreme do you prefer, Bill?

  11. Nicky

    Useless swamp creature

  12. Traditional Thinker

    This little fellow says to turn off Fox news and be more charitable to our political opponents. So your idea of christian charity little Billy is to denounce our God, call evil good and good evil, allow God to be mocked, and Christians to be removed from society? This is what our opponents want. Would this be pleasing to you and your fellow bed partners on the other side of the aisle? Has this country not forsaken God enough for your liking yet? Still a little too committed to standing up for our God, church, children, and country? If we turn off fox news, should we turn on cnn instead and listen to News anchors who commit sex acts to themselves while reporting the news? Is this your idea of the proper actions of conservatives and Christians? Being a politician, you’re actually breaking protocol in not separating yourself from church and state, so there’s that. But to make an attempt to be a voice for Christian’s while promoting the behavior and lifestyles of those who would like nothing better than to erase the creator and those who truly follow Him is a travesty. Find some other rabbit hole to explore. You’re above your head on this issue.

  13. Trevor

    So sad Little Billy Haslam is whining about Trump voters! Haslam has never had to Work for a paycheck, Daddy Haslam always took care of this spoiled Brat! Haslam run for office as a conservative and then he governed as a RINO! I am so glad he is out of office! He continues to beat up Trump supporters that are mostly Tennesseans! Haslam please stay in Knoxville, your kind of politics are out of touch with Tennesseans!

  14. It i alarming and informative that Bill Haslam is a frequent guest of Governor Lee.
    Haslam is a “The Business of Government is (Global) Business(Men) RINO! Taxes and more taxes.and Corporate Welfare. He is likeable but not a for America First, And he lied that he would sign Constitutional Carry if he was elected, but his Allies in the Legislature Lobbyist paid by us, did everything they could to keep it from getting to his desk. He lied to get elected!
    China;s anti Bill of Rights Globalist Michael Bloomberg was and is in Nashville while he was Governor way too many times as he is now. One time i too many for American Honorable Citizens/Patriotic Tennesseans!.